Wildlife Photography on a Southern African Safari – Photographing Buffalo

Buffalo in Kruger Park
Buffalo near Punda Maria camp in Kruger Park

The Cape Buffalo has the reputation of being the most dangerous animal in Africa as they have apparently killed more people than any other animal. The buffalo is a placid animal but if cornered or wounded its first instinct is to attack. Buffalo are common throughout the Kruger Park, are a very rare sighting in the Pilanesberg and are not found in Etosha or the Kgalagadi. The biggest herd we saw was at the Mlondozi dam from the picnic site. This herd was huge and numbered at least 2000. We watched them coming down to drink and they just kept coming – the whole area was covered with black dots that looked like ants.

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Wildlife Photography on a Southern African safari – Photographing Lions

Male Lion in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Male Lion in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

For most visitors to African national parks, the big cats are the most desired game viewing subjects and photographic trophies, with lions being at the top of the list.

The male lion has a mane that is very impressive and tends to make the lion the symbol of power and of the African wilderness.

The lion is the only social cat living in family groups called prides, made up mainly of females with their cubs and anything from one to maybe three or four males. One dominant male has the privilege of mating with the females.

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Wildlife Photography on an African Safari

Professional nature photographers make it look easy don’t they! A giraffe silhouetted against the setting sun; savannah landscapes of acacia trees under deep blue skies and the action sequence of a hungry cheetah catching a terrified springbok.

Yet wildlife photography, which sits next to bird, landscape and macro photography the umbrella of ‘nature photography’, is extremely challenging. Unlike studio photography there is very little that is under your control. To obtain good images you need to have the right equipment, know how to use the various items and have photographic vision. Basically you need to apply what is commonly known as the Five-P’s of photography. I’ll briefly list them here:

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